Welcome to the Laurel, Delaware Website. After you surf through cyberspace, I hope you will decide to visit our community and see first-hand why our citizens believe Laurel is a great place to call home. Laurel’s greatest asset lies in its people – people who are friendly, industrious, and imbued with the pioneer can-do spirit so characteristic of Americans.
Laurel traces it roots to the “Wading Place” where Native Americans first crossed the waters of Broad Creek. The “Wading Place” eventually grew into a dynamic center of commerce. Broad Creek once thrived with ships which transported products between Laurel and distant ports. The advent of the railroad brought another significant boost to the Laurel economy as farmers realized they could distribute their products nation-wide in days versus weeks. Like most towns, Laurel experienced the effects of a rapidly changing American economy in the latter part of the 20th Century.
Now, two decades into the 21st Century, Laurel is re-imagining itself. Participants in a community brainstorming session led by marketing consultants realized that the essence of Laurel is the natural beauty of its environment along Broad Creek. From this meeting of reflection came a new marketing tagline for the Town of Laurel that captures this realization – “Great Things Happen Naturally”.
Our current economic development strategy has two thrusts. The first is to return to our heritage by redeveloping the property along Broad Creek and in the historic downtown into a thriving tourist attraction with new shops, fine dining, and recreational venues. Cornerstone of this initiative is a concept plan known as “The Ramble” which the Town is developing in partnership with the Laurel Redevelopment Corporation. When completed, a beautiful, recreational Greenway along the banks of Broad Creek will be in place from the Mill Dam spillway on the East to Roger C. Fisher Park on the West. A unique feature will be “Tidewater Park”, a nature based playground highlighting Native American folklore. A new kayak launch has been constructed by the Nanticoke Rotary Club on the north bank of the creek enabling kayakers and birders to enjoy the pristine waters of Broad Creek. The Town is also partnering with the Laurel Historical Society to renew properties in the historic district, the largest in the State. The Town’s old train station is now operated by the Laurel Historical Society as the Laurel Heritage Museum.
The second economic development focus is the Route 13 Corridor. To create jobs, and promote commercial and residential development in new areas such as this, Mayor and Council have annexed over 500 acres into the Town. To support the demands of future economic growth, significant investments have been made in new infrastructure including a new waste water treatment Plant capable of expansion, extension of water and sewer services to the Route 13 Corridor, and a new well and water treatment plant.
Many other exciting changes have taken place as part of Laurel’s redevelopment.
- The Laurel Public Library, modernized in 2006 has become a hub of community activities. The Library Commission hopes to enhance its contribution to the life of the Town by creating an Arts District in the block around the Library.
- The Laurel Volunteer Fire Company Fire Hall auditorium has been remodeled into a very attractive venue for special events.
- The Laurel School District has carried out the wishes of a voter approved $100 million school construction referendum. A new Middle/High School opened in 2014 and a new Laurel Elementary School opened in August 2018. This investment in the future will ensure that Laurel’s children have access to the latest technology in an attractive, state of the art educational environment.
Excited by now? Visit us, shop dine and enjoy the recreational opportunities. You might get caught up in the magic and decide to make Laurel home. While we may be small in stature, Laurel stands tall in spirit. Six Governors of the State of Delaware have call Laurel their home. We are proud of the past, but focused on a new, bright future.
Mayor John J. Shwed